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Anwar Ibrahim

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Anwar Ibrahim


Undi Bangsa Malaysia menambah kepahitan BN

Posted: 07 May 2013 08:14 PM PDT

The Malaysian Insider

Undi popular dalam Pilihan Raya 2013 menceritakan tentang generasi Bangsa Malaysia mengundi buat pertama kali dan melangkaui batas kaum akan tetapi bagi Barisan Nasional (BN), lebih menyenangkan untuk menyalahkan pengundi Cina daripada memastikan perpaduan dan mengakui strategi mereka gagal.

Hampir 13.3 juta pengundi membuang undi buat pertama kali pada pilihan raya hujung minggu lalu dan lebih cenderung untuk musuh BN, Pakatan Rakyat (PR) yang berikrar untuk menamatkan kronisme, perbelanjaan berlebihan dan rasuah.

Pengundi kali pertama ini, kebanyakkannya di bawah 30 tahun, membesar di zaman pemerintahan Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, di mana bekas perdana menteri paling lama berkhidmat itu melancarkan Wawasan 2020 pada 1991 dan bercakap soal Bangsa Malaysia yang bersaing melalui meritokrasi dalam negara membangun.

Mereka menyebabkan BN hilang tujuh lagi kerusi Parlimen berbanding Pilihan Raya 2008,133 daripada 222. Di peringkat Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN) lebih teruk lagi — BN mendapat 275 berbanding PR 230 daripada 505 kerusi DUN yang dipertandingkan.

"Mereka abaikan Bangsa Malaysia. Dan sekarang kamu lihat bagaimana generasi muda mengundi," kata wartawan dan editor veteran Datuk A Kadir Jasin kepada The Malaysian Insider, merujuk kepada BN.

Beliau menulis di blognya mengenai keputusan pilihan raya umum 5 Mei, mengatakan kelemahan prestasi BN menunjukkan penolakkan dari semua rakyat Malaysia dan bukan sahaja dari minoriti Cina.

"Adakah tidak mungkin bahawa ini bukan tsunami Cina atau cauvinisme kaum, tetapi tsunami Malaysia yang berpaksikan aspirasi dan realiti baru, khasnya di kalangan pengundi muda?" kata bekas ketua pengarang kumpulan New Straits Times Press semasa era pentadbiran Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad dalam tulisan di blognya yang bertajuk, "Keputusan PRU13-Tsunami Cina atau Tsunami Malaysia?".

Penganalisis dan ahli politik juga menolak teori "tsunami Cina", mengatakan peningkatkan undi popular terhadap PR adalah berbilang kaum secara semula jadi dan disebabkan oleh peralihan dari pengundi bandar dan kelas menengah yang menyaksikan jurang bandar-luar bandar Malaysia semakin meluas.

Mereka juga mengatakan tajuk utama Utusan Malaysia yang dimiliki Umno dan BN "Apa lagi Cina mahu?" adalah petunjuk jelas BN mencari momok luar dan memesongkan perhatian daripada pemimpin-pemimpin parti dan kegagalan strategi dalam Pilihan Raya 2013.

Pengerusi BN dan Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Razak mencadangkan "tsunami Cina" menyebabkan kekalahan BN dibanyak kerusi pada awal pagi Isnin, disambung oleh Presiden MCA Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek dan kemudiannya diperkukuhkan oleh pemimpin MIC Datuk M. Saravanan semalam.

Dr Mahathir juga menyalahkan kekalahan itu kepada "Cina yang tidak bersyukur" dan "Melayu tamak", selain dari mempersolkan ahli strategi BN di mana idea mereka gagal.

Akan tetapi pengkritik membangkitkan, Dr Mahathir secara aktif berkempen untuk BN, terutamanya dua calon Perkasa — Datuk Ibrahim Ali di Pasir Mas dan Datuk Zulkifli Noordin di Shah Alam, yang telah mencetuskan kemarahan bukan Melayu kerana kenyataan berbaur perkauman selama ini.

Kedua-dua pemimpin ini bertanding di kerusi Parlimen yang majoritinya Melayu akan tetapi kalah, bukti BN salah tentang Cina adalah punca utama kekalahan mereka.

Dr Mahathir, bagaimanapun, tepat mengenai ahli strategi BN, sesetengahnya yang mencadangkan serangan peribadi kepada pemimpin pembangkang, menakut-nakutkan dan memperlekehkan manifesto PR menggunakan pelbagai saluran media dan mendominasi ruang iklan.

"Menyalahkan DAP kerana mengelirukan pengundi mereka boleh mengubah kerajaan hanya menunjukkan bagaimana pintarnya ahli strategi DAP berbanding BN," kata pakar hubungan awam, yang enggan untuk dinamakan.

"Ahli strategi BN ini hanya mahu menyembunyikan fakta mereka tersilap baca mengenai anak muda Bangsa Malaysia, jadi salahkan sahaja Cina yang tidak mengundi mereka," tambah beliau.

Sumber dari "bilik perang" BN mengatakan tinjauan dalaman gabungan itu menunjukkan prestasi mereka akan lebih buruk dari Pilihan raya 2008, apabila mereka menang 140 kerusi. "Kami sentiasa sedar untuk mendapat di bawah 140 jadi 133 bukanlah sesuatu yang mengejutkan," katanya.

"Adalah mudah untuk menyalahkan pengundi dan parti lain untuk kekalahan tetapi faktanya jentera pilihan raya kita gagal di sesetengah tempat sementara PR adalah lebih baik," tambah beliau.

"Jentera PR adalah mengagumkan dan mereka bercakap tentang isu-isu dan hubungan kaum. Itu banyak membantu mereka," kata pegawai bilik perang BN itu.

Buat masa sekarang, katanya adalah mudah bagi BN yang kecewa untuk menyalahkan DAP dan Cina, kuat menyokong mereka dalam pilihan raya 1999 selepas Dr Mahathir memecat Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim kerana dikatakan meliwat dan tuduhan rasuah menyebabkan protes selama berbulan-bulan.

Cina adalah 28 peratus dari 29 juta populasi Malaysia, dan kurang daripada separuh mendaftar sebagai pengundi. Di sebalik jumlah pengundi yang rendah, Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya (SPR) mengatakan peratusan keluar mengundi memecahkan rekod apabila mencecah 84.84 peratus.

Daripada jumlah pengundi itu, BN mendapat 5,237,699 undi untuk 222 kerusi Parlimen berbanding parti Pakatan Rakyat yang mengumpulkan 5,623,984 undi.

Gabungan tiga parti PKR, PAS dan DAP itu juga mengalahkan BN dalam undi di Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN) apabila mendapat 4,879,699 undi berbanding gabungan 13 parti itu yang mendapat 4,513,977 undi.

‘Bangsa Malaysia’ vote makes a bitter BN

Posted: 07 May 2013 08:05 PM PDT

The Malaysian Insider

utusancina0508

The popular vote in Election 2013 tells the story of a "Bangsa Malaysia" generation voting for the first time and across racial lines, but for Barisan Nasional (BN), blaming Chinese voters is far more convenient to ensure unity and mask strategies that failed.

Some three million of the 13.3 million voters cast their ballots for the first time in last weekend's polls and many likely did so for BN's foes Pakatan Rakyat (PR), who vowed to end cronyism, excess expenditure and endemic corruption.

These first-time voters, mainly below 30, grew up in Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's rule, where the country's longest-serving prime minister launched his Vision 2020 in 1991 and spoke of a "Bangsa Malaysia" (Malaysian Race) who competed on meritocracy in a developed nation.

They left BN losing seven more federal seats than in Election 2008, for a total of 133 out of 222. The tale in the 12 state assemblies was even worse ? BN managed just 275 seats against PR's 230 out of the 505 seats contested.

 "They neglected 'Bangsa Malaysia'. And now you see how the younger generation are voting," veteran newsman and editor Datuk A. Kadir Jasin told The Malaysian Insider, referring to BN.

He had blogged about the May 5 general election results, saying BN's weaker showing pointed to a strong wave of rejection from all Malaysians and not just from the minority Chinese.

"Is it not possible that this is not a Chinese tsunami or racial chauvinism but a Malaysian tsunami that is centred on the aspiration and new reality, especially among young voters?" the man who had been group editor-in-chief of the public-listed News Straits Times Press during the Mahathir administration wrote in his blog.

Other pundits and politicians have also debunked the "Chinese tsunami" theory, saying the greater popular vote that went to PR was multi-racial in nature and due to a swing in the urban and middle-class electorate that saw Malaysia's urban-rural rift widen.

They also said BN and Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia's banner headline "What else do the Chinese want?" yesterday was a clear sign of finding an external bogeyman to deflect attention from party leaders and strategies that failed in Election 2013.

BN chairman and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak suggested the "Chinese tsunami" for the coalition's defeat early Monday morning, which MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek took up and later reinforced by MIC leader Datuk M. Saravanan yesterday.  Dr Mahathir also blamed the loss on "ungrateful Chinese" and "greedy Malays", apart from questioning BN strategists whose ideas failed.

But critics point out that Dr Mahathir actively campaigned for BN, especially the two Malay rights group Perkasa candidates ? Datuk Ibrahim Ali in Pasir Mas and Datuk Zulkifli Noordin in Shah Alam, who have riled up non-Malays for racist remarks over the years.

Both contested in Malay-majority federal seats but lost, further evidence that BN was wrong about the Chinese being the main cause of their electoral losses.

Dr Mahathir, however, was right about the BN strategists, some of whom pitched for personal attacks against opposition leaders, fear mongering and running down PR's manifesto through various media channels and dominating advertising space.

"Blaming the DAP for confusing voters into believing that they can change the government just shows how brilliant DAP strategists are compared with BN's," said a public relations expert, who declined to be named.

"These BN strategists just want to hide the fact that they misread the 'Bangsa Malaysia' youths, so just pin the blame on the Chinese whose vote was discounted in the first place," he added.

A BN war room source also pointed out the coalition's internal surveys had shown it would perform worse than in Election 2008, when they won 140 seats. "We were always going to get below 140, so 133 is no surprise," he said.

"It is easier to blame voters and other parties for the losses but the fact is our election machinery failed us in some places while PR's was better," he added.

"PR's machinery was impressive and they talked about issues and race relations. That helped them a lot," the BN war room official said.

But for now, he said it was easier for a bitter BN to blame DAP and the Chinese, whose strong support in the 1999 elections shored up Dr Mahathir's position after Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was sacked for sodomy and corruption charges that sparked months-long protests.

The Chinese form 28 per cent of Malaysia's 29 million population of which less than half have registered to vote. Despite the low number of voters, the Election Commission (EC) said voter turnout on Sunday was a record 84.84 per cent.

Of that number, BN polled 5,237,699 votes for the 222 federal seats to Pakatan Rakyat parties' combined 5,623,984 ballots.

The three-party pact of PKR, PAS and the DAP also surpassed BN in the state seats, pulling in 4,879,699 votes to the 13-member coalition's 4,513,997 ballots.

Election Fraud In Malaysia

Posted: 07 May 2013 08:01 PM PDT

Huffington Post

Malaysians cast their ballots in the most important election in the nation’s history on Sunday. On Election Day, as had been predicted by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, reports of electoral fraud were widespread. Although the Prime Minister Najib Razak had just a few days earlier given his categorical assurance that the election would be clean, a mountain of evidence started piling up to negate his assertion.

It was discovered that despite years of pressuring the Malaysian Election Commission (EC) to ensure a free, fair and unbiased election the EC continued to demonstrate its incompetence and lack of professionalism. Furthermore, evidence has emerged that websites in Malaysia are being selectively and deliberately blocked to prevent the free flow of independent information.

Indelible Ink

At early voting stations in Kuala Lumpur on April 30, independent election observers witnessed that the indelible ink being used as a mechanism to prevent multiple voting could be removed with hand sanitizer or soapy water. These reports were confirmed by independent news portal Malaysiakini, one of Malaysia’s most well regarded online news portals. Indelible ink is supposed to remain visible on the voter’s finger for a minimum of five to seven days so that an individual who tries to vote more than once will be turned away. In Malaysia, the ink can be removed quite easily shortly after it is applied. Over 50,000 military servicemen voted in early voting on April 30 and could have voted again on the May 5 polling date as a result of the faulty ink.

On May 5 there were 1000s of reports of voters being able to wipe the indelible ink off their hands quite easily. In response the Election Commissioner stated it was not a big deal since there would be no voting the following day.

In 2012 the Election Commission gave assurances to civil society groups which had staged large street protests in Kuala Lumpur that it would implement indelible ink. But the ink that was ultimately used proved to be defective and useless, casting a dark shadow on the integrity of the electoral process.

Foreign Voters

The investigative journalist website SarawakReport along with Anwar Ibrahim himself disclosed emails linking the Prime Minister’s Office to charter dozens of flights arranged to bring thousands of people from Borneo to Peninsular Malaysia. There are thousands of Indonesians and Bengali workers employed by palm oil plantations on the island of Borneo. In response to allegations that this was a coordinated effort to move voters into swing distracts to cast illegal ballots, UMNO Secretary General Tengku Adnan Mansor said that the airplanes were part of a get out the vote effort paid for by friends of the ruling party.

On Election Day numerous witnesses encountered busloads of voters brought to polling stations. When confronted, the voters on these busses did not look like Malaysians and many of them could not perform simple tasks like sing the national anthem or recite the address on their national ID card.

Across Malaysia there were dozens of parliamentary and state races that were decided by less than 1,000 votes. It is entirely possible that a few hundred voters placed into these marginal areas could have determined outcomes.

Media Freedom

The mainstream media is completely controlled by the government and denied access to the opposition. Malaysia ranks 145 on Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index and has dropped in the ranking every year since 2003. During the campaign period countless hours of airtime and dozens of pages of newsprint are dedicated to promoting lies and misinformation about the opposition without providing any opportunity for rebuttal. There can be no real democracy with such a lopsided and biased media environment.

Throughout the last five years Malaysian authorities have arrested bloggers under charges of sedition and treason. On May 1 a blogger running the site milosuam.blogspot.co.uk was arrested at the headquarters of the People’s Justice Party outside of Kuala Lumpur. Initial reports indicate he was arrested for treason.

Electoral Roll

Based on the voter list gazetted in March 2013 the following has been identified:

- Postal voters who by definition are engaged in national service with a national origin from Pakistan, Bangladesh, or Indonesia
- 28,000 Philippinos and Indonesians designated as voters based in
Sabah but casting ballots in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor state
- The Malaysian Electoral Roll Analysis Project has identified countless examples of dubious registrations in the voter file including instances of 100s of registered voters residing in a single home, foreign nationals listed as registered voters, individuals registered doubly as regular and postal voters,

The Election Commission acknowledged many of these problems but failed to take adequate steps to resolve them.

Cyber Warfare

Since Parliament was dissolved, independent news sites were targets of massive Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks and selective blocking within Malaysia. While the exact mechanism of the blocking is being investigated, visitors to these websites as well as those of Malaysiakini, RadioFreeSarawak.com and SarawakReport.org experienced slow downs or sudden drops in service.

After 56 years of single-party, semi-authoritarian rule the majority of Malaysians decided it is time to change the government. Polling by independent groups indicated that the Pakatan Rakyat coalition will win a clear majority of the seats in the Federal Parliament and gain control of at least seven of Malaysia’s fourteen states and territories. Many Malaysians today are furious that a government that is desperate to retain power at all costs has hijacked their Constitutional rights.

Dr Azeem Ibrahim is the Executive Chairman of The Scotland Institute and Fellow at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding.

Malaysia’s election scandals

Posted: 07 May 2013 08:21 AM PDT

Al Jazeera

We discuss some of the vote irregularities being alleged as ruling coalition takes power for a record 13th time.

One of Malaysia’s most hotly contested elections has returned the ruling coalition to power. Prime Minister Najib Razak had staked his political future on strengthening his alliance’s majority in Parliament.

But his standing has been weakened – and he is promising to engage in dialogue with his political opponents. That has since been rejected – with opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim pressing for a rally in two days to protest against the results.

Al Jazeera's Florence Looi reported, "The narrower margin means Najib's administration has its work cut out for it. A youth leader in the coalition's dominant Umno party acknowledged that in a tweet on Monday. He wrote that the victory was only a reprieve and that a failure to deliver on the change that people want could mean the end for the National Front come the next general election"
It’s clear cut, Najib Razak should be ashamed of himself, you [Razak] talked about this particular elections, you promised reforms but Malaysia did not get a a free and fair elections and it really is a flawed democracy at best.

Nurul Izzah Anwar, MP for the People Justice Party

There were two main personalities in this election, and Razak was one of them.

He has has been Malaysia’s prime minister since 2009. At 23, he became the youngest member of parliament in Malaysian history and quickly rose to prominence.

He is part of a political dynasty, with his father and uncle both former prime ministers. Under his leadership, the government repealed the controversial Internal Security Act. But critics say the new laws remain repressive and still allow for abuses.

Najib also promised to reform pro-Malay policies, though many of them remain in place.

Meanwhile, for Anwar Ibrahim, the opposition candidate, it has been a long journey that has taken him to both sides of Malaysia’s political divide.

Anwar is a former deputy prime minister himself, serving under Mohathir’s government from 1993 to 1998. He was sacked after falling out with Mohathir over the need to crackdown on corruption.

He has since battled charges for sodomy for which he was convicted, but eventually cleared. Sodomy is illegal in Malaysia, but Anwar has always maintained the cases were politically motivated.

Anwar joined the opposition, leading it to an unprecedented showing at the 2008 polls. It was the start of the first serious challenge to ruling Barisan National’s grip on power.

The opposition had capitalised on rising anger over corruption and oppressive tactics.

So with pyrrhic victory for the government, new social schisms exposed and polarisation that runs deep in the Malaysian society, Inside Story with presenter Jane Dutton, unpacks the issues with guests: Nurul Izzah Anwar, a member of parliament for the opposition People Justice Party and the daughter of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim; Azman Ujang, former editor-in-chief of the government-sponsored Bernama news agency; and Bridget Welsh, a professor of political science from Singapore Management University and author of numerous publications on Malaysian politics.

“One has to put this into context, one of the realities of what has been happening in Malaysia is a declining failth in many of the politcial institutions and their ability to carry out elections in an administratively neutral way. And the election commission has been faced with a lot of allegations over the last five years”

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